Drive one hour north of Christchurch and you enter a rural lifestyle of irresistible charm.

North Canterbury is an exquisite part of New Zealand where you will find ample space for complete recreation and rejuvenation.

Relaxation comes easily in the South Island’s most popular natural thermal pools at Hanmer Springs. Kaikoura is a mecca for surprising eco-tourism experiences like whale watching. Waipara wines soothe the palate and the Hurunui District can satisfy every thrillseeker’s thirst for adventure.

The North Canterbury rivers offer spine tingling, mind jarring thrills along with the beauty and solitude of remote gorges and valleys. The Waiau River provides the ideal environment for a fun-filled Grade 1 – 2 family float trip – a perfect ‘Big Day Out’. The normal run is from Hanmer Ferry Bridge down to the gravel pit before Emu Plains Bridge. Commercial operators in Hanmer Springs and Christchurch offer a laid back 5 hour trip on the river. Thrillseekers Canyon at the Waiau Ferry Bridge has rafting, kayaking and jet boating on the river, plus bungy jumping from the bridge.

The Hurunui River is one of New Zealand’s top kayaking runs and a favourite waterway for paddle training and club races. This river is ideal for beginners and experts as it ranges from perfectly flat water to Grade 3 – 4 rapids. Commercial rafting companies in Hanmer Springs provide 5 hour trips through a stunning sub-alpine valley descending such pleasure centres as ‘The Cauldron’, ‘The Devil’s Elbow’ and ‘The Magic Roundabout’.

The Waimakariri River is another top ten whitewater venue for kayaks or rafts on one of the most scenically attractive and exhilarating waterways in the country. In the lower reaches there is an added thrill of drifting through the shallow, constantly changing shingle river channels. You just have to read the river quickly and go with the flow.

North Canterbury stretches the mind and touches the heart.

You’ll love the swirling waters and the arresting mountain views of this favoured region.